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Johannesburg - Mustek, a South African information technology company, advanced the most in almost 18 months after saying earnings per share probably rose as much as 50 percent for the half year through December.

The stock increased as much as 8.1 percent, the most on an intraday basis since September 2011, and was 3.6 percent higher at 5.75 rand by 2:54 p.m. in Johannesburg. About 201,000 shares changed hands, or 230 percent of the daily average of the last three months.

“Basic earnings per share is expected to be between 45 percent and 50 percent higher” compared with a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Mustek, which builds customized Mecer computers in Africa’s largest economy, increased sales for the full year through June by 18.2 percent to 4.1 billion rand ($461 million). The company’s shares are 8 percent higher since the beginning of the year while the FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index advanced 4.1 percent. - Bloomberg